Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I'm Hosting In Other Words: Serving No Matter What

Welcome to In Other Words. I am your hostess for today. Please share your take on today's quote by commenting below. Please also click on the words "link to this post" and add the URL to your post. For some reason Mr. Linky is not working.

“Mordecai understood that it is not failure that brings despair,
but unfaithfulness and idleness.”

~Dorothy Patterson, editor of Women’s Devotional Bible
Devotion: Service Through Providence, Esther 3:13-4:17
The book of Esther reads like a fast-paced romantic suspense story. There are all the elements to make it an exciting read, including the fact that it is a true story. It is the truths in this story that make it timeless and applicable to our lives today. Let me summarize:

A young orphan girl is adopted by her older, devoted cousin and raised as his own daughter. He teaches her the ways and faith of her people. Even though they are living as exiles in a foreign country, this man keeps true to his faith. The young girl is snatched from her home and taken into the king's harem, where she has a very slim chance of becoming a favorite of the king--maybe even queen, or becoming just another captive with no hope of the life most girls dream about--a home and family of her own.

Let's pick up the story where the king notices the girl, falls in love with her, and makes her his queen. Suddenly she has everything, right? Well....not exactly. It is at this point the villain steps into the story. A mortal enemy of the girl's people, he is angered by her adopted father's unwillingness to compromise his faith and bow to the villain's will. Instead of just getting rid of the main object of his hatred, Mordecai, the villain connives to eliminate an entire race of people. A direct quote is appropriate here:
Dispatches were sent by couriers to all the king's provinces with the order to destroy, kill, and annihilate all the Jews - young and old, women and little children - on a single day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, and to plunder their goods. ~ Esther 3:13
The villain plays on the jealousies and prejudices of his fellow countrymen to get his goals accomplished. It seems all is dismal for Queen Esther and Mordecai and their fellow Jews. What hope is there against such insurmountable odds?

Here is where our girl really becomes the heroine. Mordecai explains to her the situation and asks her to intervene with the king. Esther is afraid, because she hasn't been summoned to the king in a month. It is suicide to appear before the king without a summons. What can she do?

No one in the palace other than Mordecai knows that Esther is a Jew. What if she just remains quiet? Perhaps she will stay safe...maybe the king will call for her before the day of destruction arrives. She sends a message explaining her fears to Mordecai. Mordecai, as usual honoring his faith, understands that Esther being chosen queen is not random. Again a direct quote, from Mordecai to Esther:
"Do not think that because you are in the king's house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to this royal position for such a time as this?" ~Esther 4:14
Mordecai's faith is great and his knowledge of God's promises are shown--he knows that even if he and Esther fail to act, God long ago promised to preserve his chosen people (Genesis 12:3; 17:1-8). Esther remembers her own faith and agrees to speak to the king, at the risk of losing her own life.

As with any great romantic suspense, in the end the hero and heroine triumph, the villain is destroyed and the ending is happily ever after...

Now how do we take this story and apply it today. After all, the Bible is not just exciting fiction. It is the inspired word of God and meant to teach us His will for our lives.
  1. God gives us opportunities to perform divinely assigned duties. No matter how great or small the task, we are allowed to participate in God's plan to share salvation with the world.
  2. God chooses where we are called to serve, whether it be in a palace or a soup kitchen or in our own homes.
  3. We choose whether we respond in obedience to God's call.
Are there consequences to being unfaithful to God's will or living in idleness? Definitely! If we don't obey, destruction will come to us and our families...in the forms of rebellious children, ruined marriages, friends and family members who never hear the Gospel...

What call are you hearing from God? Are you ready to risk everything to be obedient to Him? Is your faith valuable enough to serve with your time, your money, your life? While God will accomplish His purpose regardless of your decision to join Him or not, you have been placed exactly where you are for such a time as this.


***Please come back and visit tomorrow. I have a special Mother's Day post. I am putting it out early because I have designed a downloadable format for use as a bulletin insert or for adding to a Mother's Day card. It is free for you to use.***


Remember to comment and add your post URL.
I will try to get Mr. Linky up and working as soon as I can.

May 5 IOW participants:

Miriam Pauline @ Mipa's Monologue: Idling to Despair

Laurie Ann @ A Magnolia's Heart Beat

Carolyn @ Life According to the Fifties: I Have No Where Else to Go

Esthermay @ The Heart of a Pastor's Wife: Find Me Faithful

Denise @ Shortybear's Place

Loni @ Writing Canvas: Mother's Day Despair?

Karen @ In Love W.I.T.H. Jesus: Idle Hands


Faye said...

Hello there.What a great post.I really needed to hear this today.Please keep me in your prayers.I hope you have a great day!Blessings, Faye

MiPa said...

Great quote and great post Patricia! Thanks for hosting.

MiPa said...

oops...forgot to leave my link.

Laurie Ann said...

I loved this quote and I loved reading the book of Esther. I recently read a book by Charles Swindoll about the courage she had and realized that it was a trait passed down from Mordecai. I love the strength and dignity she possessed in taking the action her uncle asked her to do. Thanks for hosting this week and with such a great quote! I loved your thoughts on this topic. Great post!

Carolyn said...

thanks for the quote this week, and your recap of the book.
I love the book of Esther. I too enjoyed Chuck Swindoll's Esther. I look forward to Beth Moore's study of Esther, I plan to start that soon.
Blessings to your week!

Esthermay said...

I love how you describe the Book of Esther: fast-paced romantic suspense story. . . . . . and you are absolutely correct that this isn’t just a “story.” God’s Word is absolutely inspired and useful for teaching, reproof. . . etc.
There are definitely consequences when we choose not to be faithful to the calling we are given. There is so much truth here and you just got going before you finished. HA! I think most of us KNOW when we are being unfaithful to His call or His Word, yet we can’t understand our trials. We would all do well to revisit Mordecai’s faith and the entire story of Esther.

Thank you for hosting today. I never do remember though, how to get my name on Mr. Linky here at your place. :-)


Esthermay said...

Mr. Linky hates me.

Here's my link to IOW:

Denise said...

Wonderful post sweetie.

Denise said...

My in other words post is up sweetie.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for hosting. I am sorry for the Mr. Linky problems. I have not been on my computer much today with having to help my husband with business stuff, but thank you for this quote and for writing from your heart.

I finally got my post up!